Greek and Roman bronzes. Rodin Sculptures. Contemporary American Sculptors.
Thence, keeping straight ahead we come to the Greek and Roman bronzes.'2 The most important piece is the Etruscan Chariot (ill. no. 33) which dates from the Vlth century B.C., and is the only complete ancient bronze chariot known, besides being one of the most important examples of ancient repousse work. It was found in 1902 in a tomb near Monteleone in Umbria, Italy, and was then in fragments.
After reaching the Museum the thin bronze plates were cleaned and remounted on wood much as they were originally.
The decorations are in panels and the scene on one side shows a man standing in a chariot of the same shape as this piece. Most of the statuettes, vases and other objects in this hall are of unusual beauty and rarity.
By going out through the right hand archway it is possible from here to reach the architectural court and see the interesting models of the Great Hall at Karnak, the Parthenon, the Pantheon, Notre Dame de Paris, and of the hall of the mediaeval castle of Penshurst. Thence to the Cypriote antiquities, -' Greek vases, and ancient glass.14
The time limit of the "pilgrimage," however, necessitates our leaving the room of bronzes by the left archway and we find ourselves facing a large marble group of two colossal figures "Two Natures," by the American sculptor, George Grey Bernard, typifies the struggle between higher ideals and the evil passions that is constantly going on within each one of us.
Opposite this is a large plaster cast of "The Thinker," by the greatest contemporary French sculptor, Rodin." The original of this life size figure is in the Place du Pantheon, Paris. The artist's monumental conception, La Porte de l'Enfer (Gate of Hell), which was commissioned by the French Government in 1880 for the Musee des Arts Decoratifs of Paris, but is still incomplete, shows three despairing shades looking down on the woe of the world and dominating all is the "Thinker," of which we here see a small bronze replica.
It should always be borne in mind when looking at some of Rodin's isolated figures that many of them are adapted from this large group ; such is the case with the "Adam" and the "Eve" in the long gallery 13, which is entirely devoted to Rodin's work.
Here all phases of his art are shown—the vivid realism of his portraits, the larger treatment of the "Pygmalion and Galatea" and of the "Brother and Sister," and the idealism of "The Hand of God" (ill. no. 13). At the foot of the main stairway stands his Age d'Airin (Age of Bronze), primitive man in the struggle of awakening from the dark ages into full consciousness.
Three contemporary American sculptors are represented here by works in bronze—the "Bacchante" (ill. no. 9) by MacMonnies, with her free, breezy movement, is the original which was rejected by the Boston Public Library; the "Bear Tamer," by Bartlett; and the group of the "Mares of Diomedes" by Gutzon Borglum.
Go To Next Page